‘Crime down by 34 per cent’
CRIME is down by 34 per cent when compared to last year’s figures and is at the lowest it has ever been in the past eight years.
These figures were presented by acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams yesterday during the Police Service weekly news briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.
“Talk is cheap, the facts are that we hit an all time high in murders in the country in 2008 with 547 murders. The figure in 2011 was 352 and 2012 (it) was 379. Check the distinction between 547 and 352 and 379. As of today we are less than 2012 figures,” Williams said.
“From a policing perspective, from the statistics 2013 has been a successful year. It is not in the perception of the public, the general public wants the society to be free of violence and to get to that point all law-abiding citizens and police must work together,” Williams said, adding that police officers are pained when they hear people ill speak the service.
Williams said the public’s assistance is needed along with the media and stakeholders to fight crime.
He assured the public that police are doing everything possible to ensure the safety and security of law-abiding citizens. He said the police efforts in addressing crime is not limited to Port of Spain area but extends to all the police divisions, wherever there are challenges with crime.
“I was actually shocked this week when a front page article of a person suspected of being a gang leader occupied the entire front page, glorifying the person to the young ones. What kind of impression in the society is created... there are young impressionable minds who have already been impacted and would continue to be so when people who are known to be involved in certain kinds of activities and suspected to be leading gang activity are glorified by the media and the very said media complain about the situation in the country... that front page should have been for Jehue Gordon,” Williams said. He added that it takes co-operation and collaboration with the media to address the problems in the land.
Williams said the police are seeking to increase their presence in communities and want to recruit more police officers in the next batch of crime-fighters and an increase their fleet of vehicles.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson, who was at the briefing, said police have been gathering information in dealing with crime in the country and one such example of the effectiveness of that was that following the six killings last week, information gathered led to the saving of over 40 people, some of whom have been placed in safe houses.
— Jensen LaVende